Monday, April 04, 2011

It's OK to be Jewish (or whatever)

Thanks to the blog of "Beach Bum," (who's been following my blog here for a short time) -- "The Life and Times of a Carolina Parrothead" -- I've also run across the blog of Karen Van der Zee, called "Life in the Expat Lane." Haven't read much of it yet, but what I've read has been more than entertaining and even a bit enlightening. She lives "abroad," and in some very strange places, and she writes about her experiences. She has written a book, available in ebook format for $2.95 (if I recall correctly [yup, just checked]) called You're Moving Where? The first chapter, "It's OK to be Jewish," is available free, and relates her experiences in her first few days living in the Palestinian West Bank town of Ramallah, where she discovers it's ok to be Jewish (which she's not).

A theme I've touched on before on this blog and on Facebook is that the Muslim faith is not "inherently violent," and that all Muslims are NOT "terrorists," etc. And it's a topic on which people like to disagree with me. Well, I think I have an advantage in this argument because I have some Muslims who are friends. In fact, I've made friends of Muslims in various places around the world -- New York, Vienna, Austria, the Philippines. The one on the train from Poughkeepsie, New York, admitted to me (in 1985) not only that he was Muslim, but "it's even worse than that," he said: "I'm Shiite." And this was only a few years after the incident in Iran during the Jimmy Carter administration. The fellow in the Philippines (on an all-night ferry from Butuan to Cebu) drank his beer and confessed to me why he was a lousy Muslim (in part because he was drinking beer!). Oh -- and I forgot the mention the guy (apparently Turkish) we shared a train compartment with in Europe who looked like Sadaam Hussein. No kidding. He gave chocolates to the kids. Nice guy! We communicated a little in broken German (well, mine was broken). And the pizza guy in Vienna who wanted to practice his English. Yada yada yada (a Hebrew expression; "yada" means "I know" in Hebrew).

So, thanks, Beach Bum -- who has some really good posts of his own.


Beach Bum said...

Thanks for the mention Chip!

...the Muslim faith is not "inherently violent,"

Not an expert by any means but Chip, doesn't the Christian Bible have some pretty violent stuff in it?

Despite the craziness that seems to be spreading around the world I refuse to let go of the idea that 95% of the human race would just like to live their lives in peace. Its the 5% that wants to see the world burn that we need to worry about and somehow control.

chip said...

Bum, truly, even a "non-expert" can see that there are incredibly violent passages in the Christian Bible. No doubt. I've written about that fact in previous posts. In short, those like the minister in FL who want to burn the Koran/Quran because it is "violent" are reading it in a particular way -- a way with which the vast majority of Muslims world-wide would disagree. So he/they cast themselves as the "correct interpreters" of that document. But, when it comes to the Bible, they would resent allowing someone else to interpret it as "violent." That's a wrong interpretation, they'll say, and "non-Christians" don't understand the Bible so we can't allow them to be considered the "right interpreters" of it. So: double standard. Illogical. Fail. ;-)